Back in October, the contractor segment of the masonry industry took the unprecedented step of becoming active in establishing a national promotional presence for masonry. Given the fact that our supplier friends spend roughly $15 million each year to promote masonry materials, talking about promotion is nothing new. However, even with this onslaught of promotion, it's a wonder why we still struggle with a steady erosion of our market share to competitive systems. We are even struggling in traditional masonry market segments, such as schools, where competitors advocate turnkey approaches. Making matters worse, while our competitors advocate simplicity, we lament with age-old problems of confusing our customers with many voices and conflicting information when we should be providing single-source information and solutions.
To combat this problem, the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA), in conjunction with 18 of our key allied state chapters, launched MasonrySystems.org in October. The site was developed to provide information to our customers, making their decision to specify and build with masonry easy.
A monthly advertising campaign has been in targeted customer magazines promoting the use of masonry systems and directing architects, specifiers, school and public officials to the site. Roughly 500,000 customers are exposed to ads promoting the benefits of masonry systems and directing them to MasonrySystems.org. As interest in the site continues to grow, so will the campaign's effectiveness in selling masonry.
This campaign was developed by the Execs Council, which is comprised of the Mason Contractors Association of North Carolina; the Mason Contractors Association of St. Louis; the Michigan Mason Contractors Association; the Masonry Institute of Oregon; the Washington State Conference of Mason Contractors; the Masonry Institute of Washington; the Texas Masonry Council; the Utah Masonry Council; the California Conference of Mason Contractors; the Masonry Industry Training Association; the Mason Contractors Association of Greater Chicago; the Masonry Association of Georgia; the Central Illinois Mason Contractors Association; the Arizona Mason Contractors Association; the Masonry Institute; and the Mason Contractors Association of Spokane. They have raised roughly $125,000 to kick off this effort, which is a fraction of the total that is needed to sustain this valuable national campaign. I call on all mason contractors to help support this critical effort by making a financial contribution to the Execs Council and its advertising campaign to continue to build awareness in our MasonrySystems.org site. Whether you are a member of the MCAA or not, your financial support will help expand our industry and the opportunities for all of us. To help our effort, you can call us at (800) 536-2225.
As mason contractors, we are in a unique position to work closely with our industry's customers, which affords us the opportunity to influence their construction purchasing decisions. As mason contractors, we can offer our customers a brick building if they want brick. We can offer a block building if they want block. We can offer stone if they want stone. Or we can offer a number of variations if they so desire. We will never pit one masonry material against another, but instead we will promote total masonry systems because if we are on the job installing brick, it makes perfect sense to install a block backup as well.
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